A 14-year-old Christian girl has been abudcted by an Islamic gang in Pakistan. The youngster, Myra Shehbaz, was reported to be taken from Madina Town, located in the Faisalabad district of Punjab, on April 26.
International Christian Concern reports that an armed gang attacked Shehbaz as she travelled to her workplace, forcing her into a car. Myra attempted to fight off the assailants, but they overpowered her. Eyewitnesses said they were helpless to save the young girl because her captors were armed and began firing shots into the air.
Nighat, Myra’s mother, told ICC that she is terrified her daughter will be raped, forcefully converted to Islam or even executed.
“I beg the authorities to bring my daughter back,” Nighat pleaded. “The culprits should also be punished according to the law.”
According to ICC, abductions and attacks on women and girls from Pakistan’s religious minorities are "unfortunately common," with an "estimated 1,000 women and girls from Pakistan’s Hindu and Christian community" being "assaulted, abducted, forcefully married to their captor, and forcibly converted to Islam every year."
ICC concluded: "The issue of religion is also often injected into cases of sexual assault to place religious minority victims at a disadvantage. Playing upon religious biases, perpetrators know they can cover up and justify their crimes by introducing an element of religion."